Militia kicked Las Vegas shooters off ranch
LAS VEGAS — A husband and wife who went on a deadly shooting spree in Las Vegas harbored anti-government beliefs and left a swastika and a “Don't tread on me” flag on the body of one of the two police officers they killed, authorities said on Monday.
Jerad and Amanda Miller were kicked off a Nevada ranch where anti-government protesters faced down federal agents this year because they were “very radical,” rancher Cliven Bundy's son said.
Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said the Millers held ideology shared by “militia and white supremacists,” including that law enforcement was the “oppressor.”
Police believe the shootings were isolated, not part of a broader conspiracy, McMahill said.
Ammon Bundy, one of Cliven Bundy's sons, said the Millers were at his father's ranch for a few days in spring and were asked to leave by militia members for unspecified “conduct” problems.
He called the couple “very radical” and said they “did not align themselves” with the beliefs of other protesters, who thwarted a roundup of Cliven Bundy's cattle by the Bureau of Land Management, which wants to collect more than $1 million in grazing fees and penalties.
Of thousands who have visited, “Not very many people were asked to leave. I think they may have been the only ones,” Ammon Bundy said.
On Sunday, the two officers were having lunch at a CiCi's Pizza about 5 miles from the Las Vegas Strip when the Millers fatally shot them. The attack claimed officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, both husbands and fathers.
McMahill said the Millers left an apartment where they had been staying about 4:30 a.m. and walked for hours, ending up at the strip mall.
About 11:20 a.m., Jerad Miller walked into the restaurant, then left and got his wife.
When they returned, Jerad Miller shot Soldo in the back of his head. As his partner tried to react, Miller shot him once in the throat. Amanda Miller pulled her gun, and they both shot Beck several times.
Police believe that while the Millers wanted to target police, the choice of Soldo and Beck was random.
They took their victims' guns and ammunition and put a flag featuring the phrase “Don't tread on me” and a swastika on Beck's body.
The couple went to a nearby Wal-Mart where Jerad Miller entered, fired one round and “told the people to get out and this was a revolution and that the police were on the way.”
Shopper Joseph Wilcox went from the checkout to Miller and pulled his concealed firearm. But before he could fire, Amanda Miller shot him.
“Joseph died trying to protect others,” Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.
Police arrived, and two five-officer teams entered the store. One team confronted the Millers and exchanged fire. Jerad Miller tried to blast an emergency exit door open with a shotgun, but police had blocked it with a car, and he could not escape.
As police closed in, Amanda Miller shot her husband several times, killing him, then shot herself in the head.